The real reason why we didn’t go back to the Moon: The decline of spaceflight

With the massive onslaught of fake news we are subjected to, a particularly obnoxious one is that the Moon landings never took place. It is not just a fashionable idiocy, it is a symptom that the whole Western society is rotting at the core. In a way, the spreading of the “Moon landing was a … Continue reading “The real reason why we didn’t go back to the Moon: The decline of spaceflight”

Can you imagine being a whale? A tale of empathy and communication

From left to right in the photo, Ishmael, Captain Ahab, and Captain Peleg. Actually, the top-hatted, harpoon-bearing person in the center is me (Ugo Bardi) giving a talk on sustainability in Bagnaia, Italy, on July 17, 2019. Near me, Albert Bates (right in the photo) and Simone (left in the photo — sorry that I … Continue reading “Can you imagine being a whale? A tale of empathy and communication”

A rare glimpse of what the members of the elite think: What are they going to do when things get really tough?

“A lot of these laws and regulations were designed back when the US had a finite amount of energy. Before the new technology was put into place.”  Gordon Sondland, US ambassador to the European Union, at the meeting titled “The Fight for EU Energy Security” held on April 11, 2019, in Brussels. Full video of … Continue reading “A rare glimpse of what the members of the elite think: What are they going to do when things get really tough?”

The First Recorded Ecological Collapse in History and How it Was Misunderstood.

The Goddess Inanna in her full regalia as depicted on a Sumerian cylinder seal. On the left, Ninshubur (the Queen of the East) Inanna’s second in command. Inanna is sometimes called the “Goddess of Love,” but she was no gentle lady. She was known to tame lions, use weapons, fight her enemies, and, sometimes, devour … Continue reading “The First Recorded Ecological Collapse in History and How it Was Misunderstood.”

Before The Collapse: The New Book by Ugo Bardi

My new book on collapse is out, published by Springer. You can find it at the Springer site at this link (priced in Euro) and at this link (priced in dollars). You can find it also on most Web sites that sell books. Collapse is a popular subject nowadays, so I thought I could add … Continue reading “Before The Collapse: The New Book by Ugo Bardi”

What Future for Africa? A Report from the Meeting of the Club of Rome in Cape Town

Manphela Ramphele (*) and Sandrine Dixon-Decleve, the co-presidents of the Club of Rome, at the start of the meeting of the Club in Cape Town on 5 November 2019 (**). These are somewhat rambling and incomplete notes written immediately after the end of the meeting. Africa? What is Africa, exactly? A continent? A nation? A … Continue reading “What Future for Africa? A Report from the Meeting of the Club of Rome in Cape Town”

“The Limits to Growth” continues to make waves

The Club of Rome is holding its annual meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. In the image, you see the co-president, Sandrine Dixon-Decleve, speakingNow heading toward its 50th anniversary, “The Limits to Growth,” the 1972 study sponsored by the Club of Rome, continues to generate interest. Past is the time of the “Limits-Bashing” fashion, when … Continue reading ““The Limits to Growth” continues to make waves”

Report From Iran: A Country we can’t Ignore

Above, Ugo Bardi giving a talk at the University of Tehran, October 2019Iran is a country that maintains something of the fascination it had in ancient times when it was both fabulous and remote. In our times, it remained somewhat remote but also a country that couldn’t be ignored as it went through a series … Continue reading “Report From Iran: A Country we can’t Ignore”

Report From Iran: The Country Moves Onward

Above, Ugo Bardi giving a talk at the University of Tehran, October 2019Iran is a country that maintains something of the fascination it had in ancient times, when it was both fabulous and remote. In our times, it remained somewhat remote, but also something that couldn’t be ignored as it went through a series of … Continue reading “Report From Iran: The Country Moves Onward”

The West Fades. The Center Quietly Returns: The New Silk Road

An image from the workshop on desalination and mineral extraction from seawater organized by Sharif University in Teheran this week. In the photo, you can see people from Oman (3), Iran (3), South Africa (1), India (1), and Bangladesh (1). It was not only a multi-ethnical group but also a Eurasia-centered one. It gave me … Continue reading “The West Fades. The Center Quietly Returns: The New Silk Road”

The West Fades and the Center Quietly Returns. The New Silk Road

An image from the workshop on desalination and mineral extraction from seawater organized by Sharif University in Teheran this week. In the photo, you can see people from Oman (3), Iran (3), South Africa (1), India (1), and Bangladesh (1). It was not only a multi-ethnical group but also a Eurasia-centered one. It gave me … Continue reading “The West Fades and the Center Quietly Returns. The New Silk Road”

Report from Tehran: What is the Effect of the Sanctions?

My wife, Grazia, in a supermarket in Tehran, today. No effect of the economic sanctions is visible. The shelves are full of goods from everywhere. You can find even Coca Cola cansFor this Monday post on Cassandra’s Legacy, I can offer you just a very brief report from Tehran, Iran, where I am for a … Continue reading “Report from Tehran: What is the Effect of the Sanctions?”

Bimillenary of the death of Germanicus: The Defeat of the Roman Deep State

2,000 years ago, on Oct 10, 19 CE, Germanicus Julius Caesar died in Antioch, Asia Minor, perhaps poisoned by his uncle, Tiberius, then the ruling emperor. If we see Hillary Clinton in the role of Germanicus and Donald Trump in the role of Tiberius, you have an equivalent ongoing conflict. Most likely, the concept of … Continue reading “Bimillenary of the death of Germanicus: The Defeat of the Roman Deep State”

The Public Interest in Climate Change Reaches and All-Time High. Greta Thunberg Conquers the Memesphere

Greta Thunberg is having a phenomenal success as climate messenger. Good targeting, flawless performance, the right person at the right moment. A little more than one year ago, I wrote a post titled “Why, in a Few Years, Nobody Will be Talking About Climate Change Anymore.” It turned out that I was completely wrong: Greta Thunberg … Continue reading “The Public Interest in Climate Change Reaches and All-Time High. Greta Thunberg Conquers the Memesphere”

The Public Interest in Climate Change Reaches and All-Time High. It is the Effect of Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg is having a phenomenal success as a climate messenger. Good targeting, flawless performance, the right person at the right moment. A little more than one year ago, I wrote a post titled “Why, in a Few Years, Nobody Will be Talking About Climate Change Anymore.” It turned out that I was completely wrong: … Continue reading “The Public Interest in Climate Change Reaches and All-Time High. It is the Effect of Greta Thunberg”

The Public Interest in Climate Change Reaches and All-Time High. The Greta Thunberg Meme hits the Memesphere

Greta Thunberg is having a phenomenal success as a climate messenger. Good targeting, flawless performance, the right person at the right moment. A little more than one year ago, I wrote a post titled “Why, in a Few Years, Nobody Will be Talking About Climate Change Anymore.” It turned out that I was completely wrong when … Continue reading “The Public Interest in Climate Change Reaches and All-Time High. The Greta Thunberg Meme hits the Memesphere”

The Art of War According to the Science of Complex Systems: The Seneca Cliff as a strategic weapon

Music has always been part of the war effort: a way to build up network connections in such a way to make the fighting system more resilient and more effective. Here, an especially effective version: “The Sacred War” sung by Elena Vaenga. I wouldn’t say that the Soviets defeated the Germans in ww2 because they … Continue reading “The Art of War According to the Science of Complex Systems: The Seneca Cliff as a strategic weapon”

The Art of War According to the Science of Complex Systems

Music has always been part of the war effort: a way to build up network connections in such a way to make the fighting system more resilient and more effective. Here, an especially effective version: “The Sacred War” sung by Elena Vaenga. I wouldn’t say that the Soviets defeated the Germans in ww2 because they … Continue reading “The Art of War According to the Science of Complex Systems”

The Empty Sea: What Future for the Blue Economy? A New Book by Ugo Bardi and Ilaria Perissi

Proposed cover by Viola, Ilaria’s daughter, 4 years old. For this Monday post, I can only put together a very short text. We (myself and Ilaria) have been very busy with the last retouched of the manuscript for our new book that we hope to be able to ship to the publisher (“Editori Riuniti”) maybe tomorrow. … Continue reading “The Empty Sea: What Future for the Blue Economy? A New Book by Ugo Bardi and Ilaria Perissi”

The Return of the Condottieri? How Military Drones are Changing the World

A US  carrier strike group. It costs about 30 billion dollars to build and it may cost around 2-3 billion dollars per year to operate. These values may be optimistic and there are 10 US strike groups in operation today. And, by now, all this hardware may be worth little more than its weight as … Continue reading “The Return of the Condottieri? How Military Drones are Changing the World”

A New Paradigm for the Earth’s Ecosystem: Anastassia Makarieva Speaks about the Biotic Pump in Florence

https://www.bioticregulation.ru/Everything began with the idea of Charles Darwin of “evolution by natural selection.” It was a dangerous idea according to Daniel Dennett, but there was nothing dangerous in it unless you misunderstood it. And we know how it was misunderstood by the various suprematists, racists, white-supremacists, and so on. But Darwin’s idea was simple and … Continue reading “A New Paradigm for the Earth’s Ecosystem: Anastassia Makarieva Speaks about the Biotic Pump in Florence”

Breaking News: Lone Genius Saves the World with his Invention

 Another lone scientist ready to save the worldWhen I stumbled into this article, I thought it was a joke. You know, the kind that goes, “Scientists find a solution to stop forest fires in the Amazon: all that’s needed is to cut the trees and turn it into a giant parking lot!” But no, it … Continue reading “Breaking News: Lone Genius Saves the World with his Invention”

The Power of the Biosphere: Anastassia Makarieva Speaks about the Biotic Pump in Florence

https://www.bioticregulation.ru/Everything began with the idea of Charles Darwin of “evolution by natural selection.” It was a dangerous idea according to Daniel Dennett, but there was nothing dangerous in it unless you misunderstood it. And we know how it was misunderstood by the various suprematists, racists, white-supremacists, and so on. But Darwin’s idea was simple and … Continue reading “The Power of the Biosphere: Anastassia Makarieva Speaks about the Biotic Pump in Florence”

Another Lone Genius Saves the World with his Invention: How Naive can People be?

 Another lone scientist ready to save the worldWhen I stumbled into this article, I thought this was a joke, you know, the kind that goes, “Scientists find a solution to stop forest fires in the Amazon: all that’s needed is to cut the trees and make it a giant parking lot!” But no, it was … Continue reading “Another Lone Genius Saves the World with his Invention: How Naive can People be?”

Notes on Gaian Theology: Is the Goddess a Superorganism?

One of the avatars of the Goddess. The beauty of the Gaian theology is that, unlike for ordinary theology, you don’t have to rely only on second-hand reports about the subject of your studies Gaia exists, and she is all around us. Then, the question is: what or who is She? As you know, the modern idea … Continue reading “Notes on Gaian Theology: Is the Goddess a Superorganism?”

Why I went underground and how I am enjoying my new subterranean life

Here is one of the windows of my new home. No, not the big one. Look at where my wife, Grazia, is pointing. Yes, that one!This summer in Florence we already had two vicious heat waves. As I am writing, we are in the middle of the third one, even more vicious. It has been, … Continue reading “Why I went underground and how I am enjoying my new subterranean life”

The New Trail of Tears: How climate change is forcing the relocation of species, including our own

Guest post by Brian Stewart. Brian Stewart is a Professor of Physics at Wesleyan University who specializes in the dynamics of small molecular systems. For twelve years, he has delivered an annual “Earth Week Rant” that documents the complex web of environmental issues we have created and urges action. Reproduced from “Public Seminars” by permission … Continue reading “The New Trail of Tears: How climate change is forcing the relocation of species, including our own”

What’s Happening in Italy? The Fatal Flaw of Democracy

Richard Gere on the stranded NGO ship “Open Arms” off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy. A humanitarian intervention that surprised most Italians who reacted by insulting ad vilifying Mr. Gere in all possible ways. This story may be highlighting a fatal flaw of democracy: once leaders discover that the nastier they are, the more they … Continue reading “What’s Happening in Italy? The Fatal Flaw of Democracy”

Why I went underground and how I am enjoying my subterranean life

Here is one of the windows of my new home. No, not the big one. Look at where my wife, Grazia, is pointing. Yes, that one!This summer in Florence we already had two vicious heat waves. As I am writing, we are in the middle of the third one, even more vicious. It has been, … Continue reading “Why I went underground and how I am enjoying my subterranean life”

Gaia Exists! Here is the Proof

Gaia is neither benevolent nor merciful. She is harsh and ruthless. Environmentalists are sometimes defined as “Gaia worshippers,” a term supposed to be an insult. That’s a little strange because most people on this planet openly worship non-existing entities and that doesn’t normally make them targets for insults. Maybe it is because there is an important … Continue reading “Gaia Exists! Here is the Proof”

The Brief Spring of Global Science: How Climate Science is Affected by Nationalism and Propaganda

The start screen of the “Climadrom” site, kept by Aleksander Zhabskiy. The site is strongly oriented toward rejecting the current scientific interpretation of climate change, labeled as “climate alarmism,” “hysteria,” and the like. This view seems to be fashionable in Russia in all sectors of society and, nowadays, Russian science seems to have rejected the … Continue reading “The Brief Spring of Global Science: How Climate Science is Affected by Nationalism and Propaganda”

The real reason why we didn’t go back to the Moon: The decline of spaceflight

Among the massive onslaught of fake news we are subjected to, a particularly obnoxious one is that the Moon landings never took place. It is not just a fashionable idiocy, it is a symptom that the whole Western society is rotting at the core. This week marks the 50th anniversary of the first landing of … Continue reading “The real reason why we didn’t go back to the Moon: The decline of spaceflight”

Can you imagine being a whale? A tale of empathy and communication

From left to right in the photo, Ishmael, Captain Ahab, and Captain Peleg. Actually, the top-hatted, harpoon-bearing person in the center is me (Ugo Bardi) giving a talk on sustainability in Bagnaia, Italy, on July 17, 2019. Near me, Albert Bates (right in the photo) and Simone (left in the photo — sorry that I … Continue reading “Can you imagine being a whale? A tale of empathy and communication”

A rare glimpse of what the members of the elite think: What are they going to do when things get really tough?

“A lot of these laws and regulations were designed back when the US had a finite amount of energy. Before the new technology was put into place.”  Gordon Sondland, US ambassador to the European Union, at the meeting titled “The Fight for EU Energy Security” held on April 11, 2019, in Brussels. Full video of … Continue reading “A rare glimpse of what the members of the elite think: What are they going to do when things get really tough?”

The First Recorded Ecological Collapse in History and How it Was Misunderstood.

Above, you see the Goddess Inanna in her full regalia as depicted on a Sumerian cylinder seal. On the left, Ninshubur (the Queen of the East) Inanna’s second in command. Inanna is sometimes called the “Goddess of Love,” but she was no gentle lady. She was known to tame lions, use weapons, fight her enemies … Continue reading “The First Recorded Ecological Collapse in History and How it Was Misunderstood.”

How We Keep Destroying the Things that Make us Live: The Biotic Pump and the Raw Power of Science

Dr. Anastassia Makarieva describes the concept of the “Biotic Pump” at the Smart Biotic Pump Summit Prague 2018 This is not an easy video to follow, but I thought to propose it to you nevertheless. Perhaps its most impressive feature is how it is not refined, it is not slick, it uses no tricks. It … Continue reading “How We Keep Destroying the Things that Make us Live: The Biotic Pump and the Raw Power of Science”

Did climate change cause the fall of the Roman Empire? No, but what may have actually happened is amazing.

“Vanity Fair” may not be the best source for reliable scientific information, but this cover is typical of an idea that’s becoming popular in the memesphere: that the Roman Empire fell because of climate change. Alas, this means stretching the data more than a bit. The Roman Empire did NOT fall because of climate change. … Continue reading “Did climate change cause the fall of the Roman Empire? No, but what may have actually happened is amazing.”

The Stuff of Our Lives: The Seneca Collapse of Relocating

The experience of relocating is curiously similar to an archaeological excavation of the ruins of a disappeared empire. Above, you can see two jars filled with old coins recovered from the nook and crannies of my house after emptying it of everything. Mostly these are old Italian “lira” coins, others are foreign coins and, in … Continue reading “The Stuff of Our Lives: The Seneca Collapse of Relocating”

The Stuff of Our Lives: The Seneca Collapse of What we Keep in Our Homes

The experience of relocating is curiously similar to an archaeological excavation of the ruins of a disappeared empire. Above, you can see two jars filled with old coins recovered from the nook and crannies of my house after emptying it of everything. Mostly these are old Italian “lira” coins, others are foreign coins and, in … Continue reading “The Stuff of Our Lives: The Seneca Collapse of What we Keep in Our Homes”

The Boy who Cried Wolf: A Bayesian Drama in One Act

The story of the boy who cried wolf too many times is a good way to illustrate our attitude toward the people who try to warn us about dangers ahead. Maybe it is about a wolf, or about climate change, the result is always the same: prophets of doom are not believed (and, sometimes, they … Continue reading “The Boy who Cried Wolf: A Bayesian Drama in One Act”

The Boy who Called Wolf: A Bayesian Drama in One Act

The story of the boy who cried wolf too many times is a good way to illustrate our attitude toward the people who try to warn us about dangers ahead. Maybe it is about a wolf, or about climate change, the result is always the same: prophets of doom are not believed (and, sometimes, they … Continue reading “The Boy who Called Wolf: A Bayesian Drama in One Act”

“The Seneca Strategy” — Asking for Suggestions from my Readers

About Amelia the Amoeba, she is a pedigreed Naegleria Fowleri, a species known for her habit of eating human brains – an interesting case of a Seneca Collapse for the owner of the brain. But Amelia is a good girl and she won’t do that to you if you are nice to her. My second … Continue reading ““The Seneca Strategy” — Asking for Suggestions from my Readers”

“The Seneca Strategy” — A Request for Help from my Readers

About Amelia the Amoeba, she is a pedigreed Nigelia Fowleri, a species known for her habit of eating human brains – an interesting case of a Seneca Collapse. But Amelia is a good girl and she won’t do that to you if you are nice to her. My second book on the concept of “Seneca … Continue reading ““The Seneca Strategy” — A Request for Help from my Readers”

The Second Babel Tower: Symphonic Music and the Collapse of the European Cultural Unity

This is EuropeThis is not Europe This is a reflection on how the breakdown of the Medieval cultural unity in Europe resulted in many different effects, from witch hunts to classical music. It came to me from putting together various elements of various talks heard at the excellent meeting “Colloqui di Martina Franca” held in … Continue reading “The Second Babel Tower: Symphonic Music and the Collapse of the European Cultural Unity”

Europe, Europe! The Dream Doesn’t Die.

This video exemplifies the problems the European Union has in managing its own image. It was produced in 2012 and then recalled after being widely labeled as “racist.” In some senses, it was, but it was also one of the very few attempts the Union made to present itself in ways that go beyond the … Continue reading “Europe, Europe! The Dream Doesn’t Die.”

Getting rid of Debt: How About Replacing Money with Social Credit?

Mark Twain had a genial idea with his story “The One Million Pound Bank Note” published in 1853. It was such a huge amount of money that it couldn’t be exchanged, yet it gave its owner all sorts of perks and goods. It was, in a certain way, an anticipation of what we call today … Continue reading “Getting rid of Debt: How About Replacing Money with Social Credit?”

A World With no Debt and no Bankruptcies: How About Social Credit as Money?

Mark Twain had a genial idea with his story “The One Million Pound Bank Note” published in 1853. It was such a huge amount of money that it couldn’t be exchanged, yet it gave its owner all sorts of perks and goods. It was, in a certain way, an anticipation of what we call today … Continue reading “A World With no Debt and no Bankruptcies: How About Social Credit as Money?”

Human Extinction: An Idea Whose Time had to Come.

A few years ago, a political movement that took the name of “extinction rebellion” would have been wholly unthinkable. On the other hand, after more than forty years of warnings on climate change and ecosystem collapse from the world’s best scientists, the message had to start going through, somehow. One consequence is the appearance on … Continue reading “Human Extinction: An Idea Whose Time had to Come.”